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Eagles GM Howie Roseman hasn't given coach Doug Pederson enough weapons to win | Marcus Hayes

Roseman spent almost $20 million on offensive free agents, but it's unlikely he'll get a big return for his investment.

HOWIE ROSEMAN weaponized Doug Pederson. Now, Pederson has to win.

Right?

That's the current refrain.

Roseman spent almost $20 million on new offensive talent and depth so Pederson, head coach and offensive mastermind, could improve the seven-win Eagles to . . . what? Nine wins? Ten? Playoffs or bust?

If not, it follows, Pederson's head should roll.

It's simple math; $20 million + 1 year = postseason.

Sorry. That doesn't add up.

It assumes too much.

It assumes that the Eagles can get more production from the parade of 1-year Band-Aids than the rest of the league can get. Roseman did a good job compiling versatile veterans to help quarterback Carson Wentz navigate his sophomore season. That's all this compilation is: a stopgap to the future, not a windfall of Hall of Famers.

The moment calls for perspective. Pederson, a rookie head coach with painfully little coaching experience coaching a rookie quarterback, led the Birds to three wins in its first three games last season. At the time it seemed like something of a miracle, that this horribly flawed team could demolish, say, the Pittsburgh Steelers. As it turns out, it was something of a miracle.

A year later the Eagles remain flawed, just less fatally. It's fine to hope that Pederson pushes them past .500 and contends for a playoff spot.

It's fine to hope it, but it's foolish to expect it.

As with 2016, 2017 is about one thing and one thing only: the growth of Carson Wentz. Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo were hired for that purpose; or, at least, with the mandate to develop quarterbacks. Wentz wasn't in the picture then, but the team certainly was going to add a quarterback beyond Sam Bradford. Upheaval and change would descend.

As it turned out, the transition from Chip Kelly to Pederson in 2016 produced a more stable roster than the turnover to 2017. Of the 15 offensive players who will start or be frontline backups, 11 essentially are on 1-year contracts.

No matter, really. It was about Wentz last season, and it's about Wentz this season. Last year as this, his weapons are window dressing.

Still, if Pederson will be judged not only by Wentz's growth but also by the production of the new weapons, let's honestly consider the weapons.

No one was more surprised than Roseman that he was able to sign free-agent receiver Alshon Jeffery for a base salary of $9.5 million. There's a reason Jeffery took a $5 million pay cut from 2016. Nobody thought he was worth it. Sure, Jeffery can make another $4.5 million if he goes to the Pro Bowl, but, since his last trip in 2013 he's been creeping further and further away from it.

Torrey Smith, Jeffery's free-agent bookend, has never been to the Pro Bowl. Roseman spent $5 million this season for Smith and his big-play pedigree. To his credit, Smith has averaged a little more than six touchdowns in his six seasons . . . but, to his detriment, has caught more than 50 passes just once. He has 53 catches since 2014.

Nelson Agholor has 59.

And what exactly is wrong with LeGarrett Blount? What does the rest of the league know? He led the NFL with 18 touchdowns for the Patriots last year, but was still was jobless until last week. Only $400,000 of his $1.25 million with the Eagles is guaranteed; again, this brilliant work by Roseman, who can cut him out of training camp with a minimal loss.

No, Blount's bargain price does not prove that Blount cannot be a red-zone battering ram or a 300-carry workhorse.

But the bargain price attached to Blount - and, relatively, to Jeffery and Smith - should diminish expectations that Pederson has to hit double-digit wins in 2017.

After all, the issues along the offensive line didn't disappear.

It's wonderful for left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce that they went to the Pro Bowl after 2016, but it's farcical to argue that they definitively deserved it. Neither consistently played at a Pro Bowl level. Both disappeared when right tackle Lane Johnson served his 10-game PED suspension.

Their play won't necessarily detract from the potency of the offense, but Peters is 35 and Kelce is still undersized. Whoever plays left guard - Allen Barbre, re-signed veteran Stefen Wisniewski, veteran backup Chance Warmack or, as the Eagles would prefer, second-year third-rounder Isaac Seumalo - it's simply unrealistic to expect Pederson to markedly improve the play of the left side of the line.

So, then, exactly what should be expected of Pederson?

If Wentz can adjust to the league's adjustment to him then Pederson should win seven games; maybe eight, if the defensive backfield isn't atrocious again.

That keeps them out of the playoffs. That puts them near the bottom of the NFC East. That might even get Pederson fired.

And that's not fair.

hayesm@phillynews.com

@inkstainedretch

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